“What are some common signs that my child may have attachment issues?” “What can I do to build healthy attachments with my child?” “Why do I feel like my child is always trying to manipulate me?” Have you ever struggled with any of these questions? Be sure not to miss out this week on:
In this episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Mike and Kristin interview the ever-so-popular Deborah Gray (LCSW) on how to make sense of attachment issues in children from trauma.
Notes and Quotes:
What are some common signs that a child may have attachment issues?
- They have a high need to control – they don’t trust the parent to take care of them and/or they fall apart if they can’t control the situation.
- They never calm down with their parent, but are escalated even more (no co-regulation happening).
- They don’t want to be close in an enjoyable way but act either clingy or keep a distance.
- They don’t seem to enjoy being with their parent
- They always are guarded
- They are emotionally or physically abusive toward their parent
- They damage things that are important to their parents (valuable items and other children in the home)
What steps can parents take to begin building healthy attachments with their child?
- Maintain sensitivity towards your child (not a heart of anger)
- Keep yourself balanced and relaxed
- Seek out trauma or grief treatment for your children
- Watch your own stress levels, creating enough margin of both time and energy
- Avoid signing up for or saying yes to lots of “stuff”
- Resign from many previous commitments and focus on the task at hand for a season
- Make your house a FUN and PLAYFUL house
“Things that are physical, novel, and high excitement are good for brains!”
To a child with attachment issues, remember that negative attention is better than no attention at all, so keep it fun and playful.
Resources and Links:
Deborah Gray (LCSW) is a leading attachment therapist, best-selling author, and sought-after speaker. Her helpful explanations, practical approaches, and warm personality have made her one of the favorite teachers at the yearly Refresh Conference for Adoptive and Foster Parents as well as at other conferences around the country. She also leads professional trainings for therapists and caseworkers and is a part of the teaching team for the 84 unit Attachment-Trauma Focused Therapy Post-Graduate Certificate Program for Master’s Level Clinicians. Dr. Gray’s work encourages parents to develop close and satisfying relationships with their children by learning research-based strategies for shaping behavior and working through trauma and grief.
Deborah is the author of four books: Attaching with Love hugs and Play, Attaching in Adoption, Nurturing Attachments, and Games and Activities for Attaching with your Child.
[reminder]Leave us a note below to let us know if you struggle with attachment with your child(ren) and what other questions you may have.[/reminder]